Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Google+ Tips

1) At the top of posts there is a date/time stamp and the word "Limited" or "Public". Click on "Limited" to see who a post has been shared with, and keep this in mind when commenting or re-sharing. The date/time is a perma-link to the post.

2) Google circles are used for two purposes; reading an posting. You can create circles to post items to specific groups, and other circles to control the streams you view.  You can put sources in multiple circles.  If someone adds you to a circle, and posts to that circle, you will not see their content unless you have also added them to a circle of your own, and you read that circle.  That is to say, you will only see item from the circle you select. 

You can not control what circles other people create and use, nor does this matter. You get total control over your own circles.  You can add a person, or not.  

A person that adds you will only see items you post to "Public", unless you add that person to a circle of your own and post to that circle.  Circle adds are not reciprocal.  If a person you do not know, and do not wish to follow, adds you to a circle, you have no reason to add them back.  If you do not add them to your our circles, they will only see your Public posts, and you will see nothing of theirs.

For some reason, and I am blaming Facebook, their is an astonishing about of confusion about circles.  But it really is not that complicated.

3) You can mention someone in a post by typing '+' followed by their name. A pop-up offers search results. There are a few other very basic editor tricks that do things like bold and strikeout.  The person will receive a notification of the mention.

4) Google+ tends to send a lot of email notification. You can turn these off under "setting" (the gear in the upper right corner). 

5) When typing a post, there is a drop down at the bottom that allows a post to be "locked" (no re-sharing), and allows comments to be disabled.

6) You can post something to an email address, any email address, and the recipient will receive the content as an email.  The address does not have to be a gmail address.  The recipient does not have to log into a Google account to see the post you share with them.

7) Google+ has been billed as an alternative to Facebook. This grossly misses the point. Google+ is not Facebook, Google+ is an identity management system that has it's fingers in all Google applications. Google+ is doing for email addresses what the contact menus on mobile phones have done to phone numbers. If you have a personal gmail account, but have not previously used Google+, you should know that Google is on a timeline to convert all Google accounts to profiles. If you do not have a personal identity on Google+, you can head to http://plus.google.com to create one if you like.